Running the government like a business

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LOOKING at the social media, it seems that business magnate Ramon S. Ang is also hell bent on joining the political fray, particularly the presidential derby.

With his name swarming all over the Facebook, two groups the ANG Pag-asa ng Bansa Movement and the Ramon Ang for President 2022, have been making a lot of noise and underscoring the need for a successful businessman with a heart to run the country the way he steered one of the most stable companies in the country – the San Miguel Corporation.

The groups, which were created only in October last year, have been rigidly recruiting members to join them as they cited the need to see an effectively corporate boss take charge over a country that is not under neck-deep financial burden in view of the global pandemic that put the national economy on the verge of collapsing.

Both groups have combined membership of more than 12,000 and rapidly surging with each passing day. The groups are very active on Facebook and are in fact posting an average of 100 shareable posts daily.

What struck me is their membership. It has comparatively fewer members than what fellow wannabe president Senator Manny Pacquiao has. However, the group behind Ramon Ang’s palace bid seemed well-organized and working systematically considering that they have members from all 17 regions, 81 provinces, 146 cities, 1,488 municipalities and 42,046 barangays.

A known protégée of the late SMC boss and founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Ang has made his presence felt at a time when the government has been committing one blunder after another. 

But make no mistake about it because Ang is the only tycoon who was spared by the tongue-lashing President Rodrigo Duterte in many speeches against oligarchs.

Is Ang actually trying to do what his mentor failed to accomplish?

Cojuangco, who narrowly lost to former President Fidel V. Ramos during the 1998 national elections, hinted on an unconventional style that the late business tycoon would have used had he been elected as President many years back – running the government the way he steered SMC to stability.

Interestingly, Ang who has been a very private person for most of his life has also been visible in many forums lately, compelling political pundits to believe that the SMC boss could be somehow interested in the presidency too — especially at a time that netizens don’t seem to have a choice from 15 other personalities being wooed to run for the highest elective national post.

In a forum organized by the Department of Finance, Ang seemed trying to convey a message on who he is and what he has done under the most difficult times that Filipinos have been into.

“Ang natutunan natin ho maging humble. For the first time in my life I experenced yung mga masasakit na pangayayari noong 2020. Namatayan po ako ng anak at tatlong beses po ako tinamaan ng COVID-19. Despite of that, tuloy tuloy pa din tayong nagtatrabaho concentrating to produce more food, para hindi maubusan ng pagkain ang mga kababayan natin.”

“Madami din tayong tinulungan na mahihirap para hindi magutom. Nagtayo din tayo ng mga laboratory, PCR testing… Hindi tayo naging madamot sa pagtulong sa mga nangangailangan.”

Sa negosyo naman ho, nahirapan ho kami, madami ho talagang paghihirap ang negosyo, pero sa ganunpaman dahil sa maayos naman natin pinapatakbo ang negsyo namin maganda naman kinalabasan.” 

Oops… running the country like a business? Isn’t that exactly what the people in the government have been doing all along? Running the government like their own business from where they draw funds as they please.

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